Media Training


A Guide to B2B PR Press Interviews

A Guide to B2B PR Press Interviews

A Guide to B2B PR Press Interviews

Few events will do more for your company’s reputation than a successful press interview.

Whether it’s a press conference, a TV interview, or even an interview the reporter will translate into a written article, B2B PR press interviews have powerful potential.

If you’re new to the game and have little experience with media interviews, this is your go-to guide to press interviews for B2B PR.

The benefits of B2B PR press interviews

Press interviews make most people nervous, sometimes nervous enough to avoid them altogether. However, if you perform well, there are several ways your interview can pay off.

Establishing your reputation

An interview is the perfect way to position yourself as an expert in your field. You’re the person the reporter has turned to for expert insights. In your customers’ eyes, this establishes you as an industry leader they will want to engage with. This fits in perfectly with a Thought Leadership strategy, as a way of building your brand’s authority and credibility amongst your competitors.

Spreading your brand awareness

Depending on the media outlet that publishes or airs your interview, a press interview can be a game-changer purely because of the large audience reach. Your interview gets your name in front of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of potential customers, and this will do wonders for your brand awareness.

Microphones on table for press interview
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READ: 10 Principles for a successful thought leadership strategy

Tips for press interviews

If you want to start incorporating more impactful communications into your B2B PR strategy, start with these top tips for press interviews.

Build relationships with reporters

Before you can rock an interview, you need to book one. In many cases, the most effective way to do this is to build relationships with reporters. Target reporters who cover your industry and those whose audiences overlap well with your target customers.  Provide those reporters with a list of topics/subjects you consider yourself expert on.

Practice and prepare

Delivering a successful press interview is an art that requires techniques, research, and unique skills. If this isn’t your area of expertise, a media training specialist can help you prepare.

You may be able to get the interview questions from the reporter in advance. If not, consider the most likely questions the reporter will ask and practice answering them whilst thinking about weaving in your own company messaging.

The better prepared you are, the less nervous you’ll be during the interview.  You will also come across more natural and personable.

Use relating mechanisms

Your interview isn’t just about what you say, it’s about the way you say it. You want to build familiarity with your audience, so they feel a connection with you.

A key approach is to use certain mechanisms that help you relate to people. One technique is to tell stories and anecdotes. Illustrating your point with real-world examples will help too. 

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DOWNLOAD: How to become a Thought Leader

Empowering your success with press interviews

B2B PR press interviews have the power to transform your company from an unknown underdog into a major player in your industry. It all lies in your techniques, your preparation, and your messages.

To build your own strategy for press interviews, contact our PR media team today.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide: How to write a B2B press release

READ this Tech PR case study: How SELiS used press interviews to show Thought Leadership

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At EC-PR we are passionate about B2B communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

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The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Revised for 2021

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

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7 Steps of Crisis PR management

7 Steps of Crisis PR management

7 Steps of Crisis PR management

Crisis PR management, sometimes called crisis comms, refers to events over which you have little or no control, where there is an external agent at work such as a cyber attack, environmental disaster or a global pandemic but which has a direct impact on the stakeholders involved in your brand’s reputation and company’s performance .

Despite the lack of control, can you still proactively manage your reputation?  The short answer – yes. Managing a PR crisis effectively requires you to be disciplined, agile and focused.  Here is how you can manage your business reputation in a crisis:

1. Create your crisis PR plan:

Be prepared. If you have the luxury of time, the most effective way to approach this is to conduct scenario planning within your leadership team before any crisis occurs; alternatively, you will need to execute the following at pace: Brainstorm the worst crises you might have to deal with; sketch out the best and worst-case for each scenario and preferred outcomes; develop a working timeline of how events might develop and then prepare your holding statements for each given scenario. This should be a statement of fact – what has happened and your planned response over the next 24 hours.

2. Designate your crisis team: 

Allocate responsibilities for each scenario, and make sure that those responsible have authority, subject matter expertise and is media savvy. They need authority because the more senior, the more credible you will appear and ideally your spokesperson should have established media relationships.  In addition to the CEO, the team must include relevant experts including a crisis PR chief – all of whom must have appropriate Media skills – it is essential that all members of the team are articulate, credible, and empathetic.

3. Crisis notification: 

Your team needs to be kept abreast of events as they occur – this is key in effective PR crisis management.  A secure system of sharing information is essential e.g. a WhatsApp group is an ideal way of keeping people informed.  Remember to keep the channel exclusive and focussed on crisis comms only – no jokes or pictures of kittens and it must always be on – a crisis is no respecter of time.  Someone always needs to be on duty; make sure it’s the same person or group of people.

4. Crisis intelligence:

Facts and fiction can quickly gain traction in the media.  Unfortunately, the more sensational interpretation can spread the fastest.  Stories which are not managed can grow their own tentacles and be highly damaging causing panic and ridicule, adding unnecessary distress while harming your reputation.  Consider who will be responsible for capturing live intelligence and from what sources; who will be responsible for sharing the information and how the intelligence will be prioritised – a traffic light system could work in this situation.  Using the incoming information you need to constantly reassess and update your comms so that you adapt your messaging and responses accordingly.

5. Business champions:

In addition to your crisis comms team comprising senior management, it’s wise to identify influential individuals inside and outside the organisation whose support you will need to secure your SMART goals. Your staff, customers and supply chain.  Make sure these people get accurate information and don’t forget that people under pressure won’t always get subtleties, but what ever happens you must keep all your champions abreast of any developments in the crisis PR plan.

6. Statements & Formats:

Your holding statements for each stage of the crisis will need to be updated daily to remain factually current and in tune with prevailing temperament amongst your target audiences.  Remember a briefing routine is invaluable and every statement needs to be adaptable to all media channels.

7. Analysis & Learning: 

In many ways we are back to point #1 above and planning for the next one.  Once you have returned to a post-crisis ‘new normal’, you need to sit down with your senior leaders and consider: What went well & why? What went badly & why? What will you do differently & how? When will you institute these changes?

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download Your Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR Management

Watch our Insight 2020 videos and discover marketers’ top challenges and strategies

Read how to adjust your comms to stay connected to your customers: Opportunity is not a dirty word

At EC-PR we are passionate about B2B communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is.

Your Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR Management

The Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR

Unforeseen circumstances have hit us all in 2020. Our guide shows you how to manage your PR in a crisis.

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Event Publicity: Networking with the media like a pro

Event Publicity: Networking with the media like a pro

Trade shows and exhibitions are all about making connections – networking.   Whether that is meeting new people or strengthening existing relationships, your role is to engage with your industry’s media and deliver a story.  Be confident with your messaging and prepared to tackle those off the cuff or sensitive questions. This takes practice and experience, but go prepped and you can make the right impression to get your business noticed by the media organisations who matter.

Here are our tips to help you optimise your media networking at that all-important event:

1. Spend time thinking about your introduction/icebreaker

This can be as simple as your name and what you do followed up by simple open questions – don’t forget to smile!

2. Make your time memorable

Consider describing what you do in a more interesting or memorable way, for example, if you specialise in marine environmental protection, you could say that you are “the guardians of the deep”.

3. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them

Think about how you can put them at ease (quickly find a common ground, i.e, Is this your first time at this event? Who in the industry do you both know?) and make them feel more comfortable about asking questions – this will help you to manage your nerves too.

4. Every connection is potentially valuable

Whether it’s school children you could inspire, a politician you could influence, or a journalist you could educate, every interaction should be treated as an opportunity to practice being interesting and engaging.

5. Prepare three open questions

Encourage engagement by preparing three open-ended questions which cover safe territory.

What happens when you get thrown a curve ball? Keep following for next blog on How to tackle those unwanted/unexpected questions.

Missed our blog on How to write an impactful Press Release – read it here.

This blog is part of our series Event Publicity: The Gold Standard.

For a FREE COPY OF OUR EVENTS GUIDE: THE GOLD STANDARD, please email [email protected]

B2B PR – Three ways to grab media attention at Infosecurity Europe 2017

B2B PR – Three ways to grab media attention at Infosecurity Europe 2017

The clock is ticking and there’s less than 3 weeks to go until Infosecurity Europe 2017. So, you should be well on your way to developing your big news story for the show.

Once you’ve got your story, it’s vital that you follow a few golden rules to give your organisation the best possible chance of getting the journalist’s attention. You need to make sure your team has set aside some time to put in place, update or source the following essentials so that you can really make the most of the media profiling opportunity presented at Infosecurity Europe 2017:

1. Named media contacts:

All too often press releases never get to the intended recipient because they are sent to generic email addresses like [email protected] You need to have a ‘named’ contact to send your press release to because generic email addresses are rarely monitored at busy times, if at all. By personalising your email your organisation comes across as being far more switched on, thoughtful and interested. If you want a journalist to use your story shouldn’t you, at least, know their name?

2. A picture speaks volumes:

Good quality photography, or graphics, which bring your story to life can give you the edge over your competitors. This is because good images provide you with an opportunity to dominate the page and side-line other stories. Magazines prefer to receive images as Jpegs and PNG files so make it is easy for the publication to use your material by sending your images in this format.  Images should be sent as attachments to the email, not pasted in to the body of the release.

3. Make it a headline worth reading:

The headline is going to be the first thing the journalist reads which means that it needs to be short, informative and attention grabbing. Remember, news editors will receive hundreds of emails a day – so don’t try and be clever, keep to the point and let the editor jazz them up if they think appropriate.

Three simple things that can provide you with significant marginal gains.

B2B PR – Four steps to effective media engagement

B2B PR – Four steps to effective media engagement

With 5 weeks to go, Seawork will no doubt bring about lots of exciting business and media opportunities. Picture the scene – your stand is a hive of activity and next thing you know, a journalist has caught you off guard and starts enquiring about your company’s activities. We hear time and time again that a situation like this ignites fear and dread where people freeze, become tongue-tied and leave the journalist feeling singularly unimpressed.

You could have a really great story to tell but if you don’t have the experts available who can communicate effectively, journalists will very quickly move on to the next story. Here are four steps that will improve the situation:

1. Prepare: This week, spend ten minutes with a couple of colleagues and brainstorm 20 possible/probable questions, including the difficult ones and prepare some answers. Write up the Q&A and circulate it to all attendees. This will ensure everyone knows what the company position is on a given subject.

2. Buy time: If necessary, you can say to the journalist “now is not a good time, could you come back in 5/10 minutes or later in the day?”. Ask him/her what they would like to discuss – that way you will have some time to think through your responses, particularly if they are tricky and sensitive issues.

3. Have an opinion: If there are potentially controversial or sensitive issues, work out where you stand and don’t be afraid to air those views – the key is making sure you can back them up. Journalists are looking for experts with a strong opinion. If your company prefers not to comment on such issues that’s fine, but don’t be surprised if the reporter then makes their excuses and ends the interview abruptly.

4. Be interesting and relevant: Coming across as an authoritative spokesperson is key – try to refer to real life examples to help bring your points to life. Also, be selective when weaving in your own internal messages.

Emmett & Churchman offers a one day bespoke media training workshop called Credence.

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Cybersecurity – Media Training Case Study

Cybersecurity – Media Training Case Study

Cybersecurity - Media Training

How to equip spokespeople to confidently engage with journalists

Requirement

The Mason Advisory Cybersecurity practice awareness campaign has delivered consistent brand visibility and as the campaign gathers momentum, there will be increased opportunity for its experts to engage with journalists. The task was to equip Mason Advisory’s cybersecurity practice spokespeople with the knowledge, skills and practical experience of being questioned by a journalist so that they could deliver an interesting, informed and compelling interview.

Plan

Spokespeople were provided with insight into how the media works, what journalists are looking for and the common bear traps to avoid. Each executive was then provided with a number of bespoke scenarios to practice with EC-PR playing the role of the journalist. The executives were filmed to add tension so that they could experience answering questions under pressure.

Outcome

“The Mason Advisory cybersecurity brand profile has grown significantly, with regular commentary in key press. Our straight talking, clarity of thought and problem solving credentials are communicated consistently. The recognition that our brand receives in the media ensures our consultants are considered as critical partners in a highly competitive market.”

Graeme Park

Senior Cybersecurity Consultant, Mason Advisory

What defence journos value from PRs

What defence journos value from PRs

Finding it hard to break into the defence media?  Is there radio silence following your email pitches? Being successful at defence PR requires a little more than pitching Haribo. And whilst it doesn’t exactly take a masonic handshake to enter the writer’s realm, you...

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